Monday, 12 March 2012

Social Issues - Honor women by naming and shaming Zimbabwe

So the low down on the above mentioned article is that there was a report sent to the powers that be in the UN about acts of violence committed against women in the run up to elections in Zimbabwe as a way of intimidating voters.

The fuss is that this information was not included in  what is known as "the naming and Shaming resolution"  UN Security Council  Resolution 1960. It was focused entirely on sexual violence in situations of armed conflict,in response to Resolutions 1820 and 1888 also dealing explicitly with sexual violence in conflict, the Security Council asked the Secretary-General, in his annual reports on the issue, to include “detailed information on parties to armed conflict that are credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for rape etc.

My reading of the article and  my convoluted chain of thoughts following the reading are as follows.

I found the fact that Zimbabwe was missed off interesting, and unfathomable. I would get it if all the women of all the nations mentioned were treated with the same lack of attention and care but it is very odd that Zimbabwe is left out.
Then I got to thinking about what it means to society when  women are singled out for attention when acts of violence are committed in conflict or as a means of intimidating a group of people. Does it mean that acts of intimidation and violence are not used on men to the same degree or are women being highlighted. If so why are men's suffering not being highlighted. and so my thoughts went.
I  decided ( right or wrong )  that universally most  men  ( and women so is that society?) pay lip service to the  notion of equality for women. And I am not  just talking in the way of job opportunities and the legal issues of rights bla, bla, bla. At a fundamental level, pretty much universally, deep down inside,  society does not accept that women are equal to men in having the same right to  breathing space that men have. I am grateful that I do not have  a daughter because I would have to fight for her rights more,  and be a better example. Shame on me. I am lazy and it is  a hard, hard battle. I am grateful that there are people out there that have fought for civil rights that I have benefited from and I am ashamed  (but clearly not ashamed enough) that I have not done anything myself.

If I were to call  out the men that I know on this touchy subject they would be offended and probably hurt at the thought that I was “accusing” them personally – I am not.  As a bloc of the population of our planet I say that societies  actions  against women speak louder than words and laws. There are men (and women) that do believe that women  are equal to men. They are generally from an environment that have had ideas  about human compassion and equality for all drummed into them from the time they entered kindergarten. Or they come from families with strong opinionated women married to strong opinionated men!

Lastly - on the whole rape in conflict issue in relation to the equality of rights for men and women. I resent Woman’s Day DEEPLY. I resent that it is “Celebrated” It is not a celebration. I get that such a day is desperately needed to highlight  issues such as those laid out the report. I resent that the report was instigated at the request of a group called The Girl-Child Network. I resent  the need for being represented by a group supporting children, I am a fully grown adult. I am grateful that the Girl Child network  highlight this situation to the group AIDS-Free World and that it was made available for me to read.

Every time I hear or read in the media about "women and children" my blood fairly boils over. I do not want to be classed with children in my success's or in my suffering. I want to read about the suffering of Children and the suffering of Men and Women. Well actually I don't want to read about anyone suffering but I think you get my drift.
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